6 INGREDIENTS FOR ABOUT PAGE AWESOMENESS
Did you know your About page is the second most visited page on your website?
People like to do business with people they like, and a well written About page tells them about the person behind the business.
So, if someone’s clicking through to your About page, they’re making the first move towards a long term relationship with you. Is your About Page delivering?
Likely not (if your About page is like most others out there). Which presents you with a huge opportunity to jump ahead of the pack.
Planning Your About Page:
This is the page to be seen and write in your true voice. What you offer and even the results you get, are probably not unique. What makes your business different (and interesting) is YOU. Your lived experience, your entrepreneurial origin story, epiphanies and struggles.
I don’t believe you’ll need help from a copywriter because it’s all within you. If you aren’t used to writing an editor or someone to interview you, will definitely help.
Messages, thank you notes or testimonials from customers will put you in a good place, but the best way to start is to get out a pencil and notebook and let some words flow.
Should it be in first person or third person?
If you want readers to feel they are entering a personal relationship with you, use first person. You’re taking off your mask on this page and presenting yourself as a whole person. Show you have a wide range of life experience, only part of which is your professional or entrepreneurial self.
For professional distance, use third person. If you have a partner or small team, your business is it’s own entity, with its own voice, speak as “we and us”.
Structure of an awesome about page:
I reviewed 100’s of about pages to distill down these key ingredients. (There are examples throughout and more available to “deep divers”).
Here are 6 ingredients that work together on great about pages. (Point 1 has 2 opening options).
Very few have all these sections done well, so if you do, you will stand out.
1A: Who you are and why I know you (outwardly focussed, talking to the visitor and often to their problem)
1B: Who I am/we are and what I/we do to help others like you solve problems like the one you have.
Either way lets people know you “get them”, you understand their issues and they are not alone. Hints at the way forward.
2: Your big “why”, your mission or your motivation, in engaging story form
3: Social proof and testimonials
4: Describe the experience, reassure, answer questions, address objections
5: Striking, authentic images
6: An invitation to connect
Let’s dive in, I’ll tell you what to include and show you a good example:
1A. Who you are and why I know you
The number one misconception around About Pages is that it’s your chance to blow your own horn or rattle off your CV. It isn’t, at least not right off the bat. First you have to interest them. And what’s the best way to be interesting? Talk to them about themselves. Act as a mirror.
Meet your ideal client right where they are and speak directly to their current experience. Let your copy create a jolt of recognition. Use insight and empathy. Or if that’s not your style; wit or cheek. Or rattle cages and rock boats. Or get deep and philosophical or talk about what drives you.
Use copy to hold up a mirror for ideal prospects. Show them you understand their struggles and aspirations. Let them know this is a place for them, a place they will be understood and included, even celebrated.
See how well Jadah Sellner understands her ideal clients with these perceptive comments.
Jadah then goes on to talk about herself under “Me” and partnership under “Together”. Beautifully expressed and simple.
I also open True Entrepreneur’s about page by talking directly to entrepreneurs. I spent an afternoon thinking about the personal and universal experience of entrepreneurship and here’s what I wrote.
There is also a widely used alternative:
1B. Who I am/we are and what I/we do to help others like you
An alternative way to open is with an expanded version of your “Pitch Perfect”, which includes:
>>> WHO you are and WHO you help
>>> WHAT you are known for helping WITH (problem)
>>> WHAT happens as a RESULT (the journey from this starting point to this transformation)
>>> WHY they should trust you, WHY they should choose you and WHY you care.
When you were crafting your succinct version for your home page and side bar bio you may need to have discarded some “collateral” copy, even phrases you love. Use them here!
The Voice Bureau does a great job of this:
If your market is mainly local, it is also good to include a sense of place, to define your nationality, home base and geographic reach.
It can be great to do as Jadah did and use both options, open by addressing your receptive audience and then introduce yourself.
2. Present your big “why” motivation or inspiration as part of your origin story
You would be familiar with Simon Sinek’s famous golden circle and contention that people don’t buy what you do but why you are doing it. The about page is the place to explain the motivation or inspiration that drives your effort.
Since language evolved, stories have been the conduit for knowledge. Stories are your “stick”, your audience is far more likely to remember information delivered in story form than facts.
Oftentimes what you do and the results you create can’t be truly unique. What sets you apart will live in your human story.
The simplest and most engaging story to tell is your entrepreneur origin story. It might include a tentative or unintentional start (or perhaps a jump into the deep end), any number of challenges and dark nights of the soul and a point of no return.
It should end with a level of comfort and success that the audience finds aspirational.
I think Emma and Carla Papas, The Merrymaker Sisters have a lovely example. They lead with their origin story and evolve it seamlessly into their mission.
Another incredible piece of brand storytelling is Saddleback Leather (read the rest of it here).
He also wrote a heartwrenching post to honour his dog which has been very widely shared. This website also has a separate section on craftsmanship which enhances perception of brand quality. Highly recommended.
For a larger or company brand, have a look at the work Shopify has done on their about page, they capture their origin story and included in some powerful statements about their culture and values.
3. Offer social proof and testimonials
Though testimonials will appear in dedicated place on your website, About is a great place to include your choice testimonials, especially if you have any from well known people.
Marisa Murgatroyd of Live Your Message absolutely nails the “niche celebrity” testimonials strategy, as shown in the image below. Featuring a lot of well known people in the marketing and coaching niches, she weaves it neatly with their mission statement, relying on the well known entrepreneurs as an implicit endorsement.
This is where you can sound impressive, use some numbers and blow your own horn just a bit. You want to include a few things that show your experience, scope and qualifications. It can be written in the same voice but the goal is to leave readers with the impression you are great at what you do.
If you’d like to add social proof but aren’t sure what you can say, start with my Authority Assets Checklist (it’s a simple 2 page quiz). You’ll identify what to highlight to increase your perceived authority and what to work on next.
4. Describe the experience, reassure, answer questions, address objections
Craft a few sentences that describe what your clients experience working with you. (To get help writing this review your testimonials or ask your favourite clients “what was it like to work with me”?).
After I’ve listed all my experience and credentials as a strategist I say this: “I’m also a kind person and if you get a bit lost, stuck or scared (because you will), I promise to hold out my hand and guide you out of the desert”.
As with testimonials you’ll deal with FAQ’s on another page, but including a couple of FAQ’s or Most Popular Posts is a great way to introduce new visitors to your best work, like Austin Kleon and Modern Married do on their pages.
If you commonly encounter a “top of mind” objection definitely address it here, this is a really good way of turning an advantage to a disadvantage and it shows you are tapping into what the reader is probably thinking.
Brigit Esselmont on her gorgeous site Biddy Tarot does this beautifully:
5. Include striking, authentic images
Curate your about page images with care. Professionally taken (though not stiff) full face pictures of you are best. Even if you have a professional distance in your brand, you can appear more relaxed and human on this page. It is good to include at least one photo that shows you in your working element and consider including yourself in a relaxed personal setting, with your family or pets if that is a fit for you. (I have a picture of my dogs enjoying the beach where I live).
TIP: A picture of you speaking or teaching from a stage or shown with a large group of clients will add authority points.
6. Extend an Invitation
After reading to the end of your revamped and well written about page, ideal clients will be interesed in your world and ready to hear more from you. Here is the chance to invite them to read more (via popular posts), join your list or connect on social media.
Maggie Reyes on the lovely relationship blog Modern Married does a terrific job of inviting people to deepen the relationship on her page sign off:
And ultimately all of my work is about learning how to love and being loved. Loving yourself, your husband and your life, just as you are. Right now.
Because the world is way better when the marriage is even cooler than the wedding.
Feeling inspired? I would be delighted to welcome you to the ModernMarried Community so you can start your own relationship revolution. Because you really don’t have to be on your honeymoon to love like a newlywed.
My 2 favorite ways to stay connected? Email + Facebook
Want electronic hugs in your inbox? (aka simple tools to make your marriage + life happier) then sign up for the email list for week-ishly spurts of love and inspiration.
Not everyone will join your list, so this is also the place to feature your social media accounts and even private facebook group if you have one.
Last Thoughts: Dial Up the Interest
Humanising Touches: First and foremost, make sure your About page sounds like you. This is your chance to connect and present your (real) best self. The more individual and even quirky you are, the more memorable it will be.
Notice what Jessica does here in her opening lines of her fabulous about page:
Exercise: Write it like a letter to a friend (client) you haven’t met yet. Tell them what you might have in common and some of the interesting things that make you who you are.
Include a manifesto. I wrote one for True Entrepreneur (you can download it here without an email) and it was a brilliant experience. My beautiful friend Nicole Keating of Epic Wellness also has a superb manifesto on her site.
Here are some tips to get you started on a Manifesto. I pieced mine together, but I think one big burst of creativity and a low degree of input from others is the way to go.
Include quirky, fun facts or stats, laid out in a cool design. This is still on my to do list, but I’m definitely planning to model what Asa Leveaux:
I reviewed more than 100 about pages for the previous post, these were the ones I was most impressed by. Most were mentioned in the post for some aspect or another, but the whole pages are worth looking at, because many hit 4-5 of the suggested ingredients superbly.
Saddleback Leather (for product brands)
Shopify About Page (for company brands)
I ran out of space on this post to include all the good examples I came across. So I kept a “shadow post” here with some more great examples. If you are a “deep diver”, please go take a look.
Do you have a great about page? Include your link in the comments and I’ll include yours with the “Best Examples”. You never know, people could find you that way.
Most of your competitors are missing the mark on this page, giving you a golden opportunity to accelerate know, like and trust. Hopefully the six ingredients above have encouraged you to revamp your about page and reap the benefits.